Boston is definitely not Miami, but that doesn’t mean that there’s a complete lack of Cuban cuisine here. Take a spin over to Jamaica Plain and eat your way down Centre Street, or head to Porter Square for a rum-soaked night and some decadent pork treats. Here are nine of the best Cuban restaurants — or restaurants that serve at least a bit of excellent Cuban food — in and around Boston.Read More
Where to Eat Cuban Food in and Around Boston
From Centre Street in Jamaica Plain to Cambridge’s Porter Square
1. Gustazo Cuban Kitchen & Bar
Located in the sizable old Elephant Walk space in Porter Square, this brand new Cambridge restaurant is already a tough reservation to snag thanks to its solid collection of Cuban small plates and entrees — plenty of pork, plenty of seafood, and more. (Don’t miss the empanada of the day.) Bonus: Sam Treadway, the owner of the award-winning cocktail bar Backbar in Somerville’s Union Square, collaborated on Gustazo’s cocktail list. The restaurant also has a popular older sibling out in Waltham.
2. The Automatic
This fun Kendall Square bar is not a Cuban restaurant at all, but hidden on its late-night menu, there’s an iconic Cuban sandwich that originated at the now-defunct Chez Henri, a longtime French and Cuban restaurant in Cambridge. The sandwich includes roasted pork, smoked ham, Gruyere, pickles, and chipotle aioli.
3. Casa Caña
The menu at Casa Caña, which opened in Allston in 2018, features foods from a mix of Latin American and Caribbean cuisines, and the cocktail list is very rum-forward. Ty the Cuban sandwich, which comes with roasted pork, smoked ham, mustard, pickles, and Swiss cheese.
4. La Fábrica Central
Like Casa Caña, Central Square restaurant and club La Fábrica Central doesn’t stick to just one Caribbean cuisine, but its menu includes plenty of nods to Cuba, with dishes like ropa vieja-stuffed empanadas and empanadas modeled after a Cuban sandwich. (The sandwich itself is also on the menu, in slider form.)
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5. Outlook Kitchen & Bar
Outlook’s kitchen is run by chef Tatiana Rosana, who grew up in Miami in a Cuban family. (She’s also a Chopped champion.) While Outlook isn’t a Cuban restaurant, Rosana’s cooking is influenced in part by her roots. Go for lunch, and try Rosana’s take on a Cuban sandwich, made with braised pork, smoked ham, dill pickles, pickled onions, Swiss cheese, and jalapeno mustard.
6. Doña Habana
At this Newmarket Square restaurant, try the arroz imperial con maduros (a casserole consisting of yellow rice, pulled chicken, and a topping of cheese and sweet plantains), the tamal Cubano de cerdo (Cuban corn meal with pork wrapped in corn husks), or, sure, a flaming lobster.
7. The Old Havana Cuban Restaurant
A Jamaica Plain stalwart, the Old Havana has a vast menu, and everything is worth eating. Start with some fried plantain chips, and then try the beef liver steak served with rice and beans.
8. Miami Restaurant
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
Another Jamaica Plain destination for Cuban cuisine. Try the ropa vieja, and try the chicharrones too.
9. El Oriental de Cuba
Yet another great spot for Cuban food on Centre Street. Try the chicken fricassee or the Cuban sandwich, and wash it all down with one of the restaurant’s many tropical shakes.